Scientific article
Open access

Glaciers as indicators of changing climate from Little Ice Age to modern times

ContributorsWildi, Walter
Published inSwiss Bulletin für angewandte Geologie, vol. 18, no. 2, p. 77-82
Publication date2013

The Chamonix valley and the Mer de Glace glacier of the Mont Blanc Massif offer an insight into the relationship between recent glacial history and climate evolution from the Little Ice Age (about 1550 AD to 1890 AD) to now. Following the warm climate of the Middle Ages, the Little Ice Age starts with a rapid growth of glaciers and a first maximal extension in 1600 and 1640. After several fluctuations and maximum extension periods in 1820 and 1850, the melting of the glacier tongue, with interruptions between 1880 and 1930 and between 1970 and 1990, leads to a total shortening of the Mer de Glace glacier of more than 2'000 m. Glacial melting rates during this period vary between 20 and 40 m/year, and are of the same magnitude as melting rates at the end of the last Ice Age.

  • Glaciers
  • Climate change
  • Chamonix
  • Little Ice Age
Citation (ISO format)
WILDI, Walter. Glaciers as indicators of changing climate from Little Ice Age to modern times. In: Swiss Bulletin für angewandte Geologie, 2013, vol. 18, n° 2, p. 77–82.
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
  • PID : unige:34498
ISSN of the journal1664-1884

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